Bay Area Rivals Clash in Berkeley: Stanford Cardinal at California Golden Bears

Stanford Cardinal at California Golden Bears
Haas Pavilion – Berkeley, California
Sunday, January 29, 2012, 8:30 pm Eastern, TV: Fox Sports Net
Opening Line: California -8 1/2
Current Line: California -8 1/2
Opening Total: 130 1/2
Current Total: 131
Opening Money Line: Cal -415 / Stanford +345
Current Money Line: Cal -400 / Stanford +330

The Cal Golden Bears host archrival Stanford in a key Pac 12 game Sunday night. The Bears are 8.5 point favorites at home.

Last week, Stanford was in first place in the wide open Pac 12. However the Cardinal were swept by Washington St 81-69 and Washington 76-63  on the road and it dropped them a game and a half back with a 5-3 record. Now,  the 15-5 Cardinal take on arch-rival Cal in Berkeley. The Golden Bears are 16-5 overall and 6-2 in conference. Cal earned a split on the Washington road trip, beating Washington 69-66 and losing to Washington St 77-75. A Cal win against Stanford would move them into a first place tie with Washington and maybe Oregon as well at 7-2. A Stanford win would create a 3 or 4 way tie for second place depending on what Oregon does against Oregon St earlier in the day. Cal leads the series 141-113, including 4 of the last 5 games. The two teams split the series last year, with each winning on their own home court. Stanford hasn’t won in Berkeley since 2008.

Stanford is coached by Johnny Dawkins. The Cardinal have additional losses to Syracuse, Butler, and Oregon. Stanford has wins over Fresno St, Colorado St, UC Davis, Oklahoma St, Pacific, NC State, San Diego, UCLA, USC, Oregon St, Utah,  and Colorado.

California is coached by Mike Montgomery, who was Stanford’s coach for many years before he took a job with the Golden St Warriors. The Golden Bears have additional losses to Missouri, San Diego St, UNLV, and Oregon St, all on the road. Cal has wins over UC-Irvine, George Washington, Austin Peay, Georgia, San Jose St, Weber St, UC-Santa Barbara, USC, UCLA, Oregon, Colorado, and Utah. Cal had won 4 straight games before the Washington St loss last week.

Stanford is outscoring opponents 73-63 this season. The Cardinal are shooting 45.2% from the field, and 36.3% from 3 point range. Stanford makes 65.7% from the free throw line. The Cardinal average 37.2 rebounds a game with a rebounding margin of +5.8. Stanford averages 13.1 assists, 14.1 turnovers, 6.3 steals and 2.7 blocks a game. Cardinal opponents are shooting 42.1% from the field and 33.6% from 3 point range. Stanford forces 15.6 turnovers a game.

Stanford forward-center Josh Owens averages 13.1 points and 6.3 rebounds a game to lead the team in both categories. Aaron Bright averages 12.2 points, 1.4 rebounds, and 3.4 assists to lead the team. He makes 43% of his 3 point attempts. Chasson Randle averages 12.1 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.2 steals a game to lead the team. He is shooting 39% from 3 point range.  Anthony Brown averages 7.6 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.1 assists a game. Josh Huestis leads the team in blocks with 0.9 a game and also averages 5.2 rebounds a game. Reserve guard Gabriel Harris is out for the season with a knee injury.

Cal is outscoring opponents 72-60 this season. The Golden Bears shoot 48.5% from the field, including 40.1% from 3 point range. The Bears are in the top 20 nationally in both categories. Cal makes 74.8% from the free throw line.  The Golden Bears average 35 rebounds a game, and have a rebounding margin of +5. Cal averages 16.4 assists, 12 turnovers, 5 steals, and 3.1 blocks a game. Cal opponents are shooting 40.4% from the field, including 34.3% from 3 point range. The Golden Bears force 13.6 turnovers a game.

California guard Allen Crabbe averages 15.7 points, 6.1 rebounds to lead the team, and 2.1 assists a game. He shoots 44.5% from 3 point range. Jorge Gutierrez is averaging 14.3 points, 5 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.3 steals a game to lead the team. He makes 31.9% from 3 point range. Justin Cobbs averages 13 points, 2.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists to lead the team, and 1.1 steals a game. Cobbs makes 53.8% of his 3 point attempts. Harper Kamp averages 9.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.6 assists. Richard Solomon led the team in rebounds with 6.2 a game and blocks with 1.2 a game. Solomon is out for the season due to being ineligible.  David Kravish averages 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks a game to lead the team. Forward Christian Behrens and guard Alex Rossi are both out indefinitely.

Cal is 11-8 against the spread and the total is 6-13 this season. Stanford is 9-8 ATS and the total is 10-7 this season. Cal is 4-1 ATS recently against Stanford. The favorite has covered the last 6, and the home team is 5-1 in this series. The Cardinal are 4-1 ATS as an underdog of 7-12.5 points, 2-5 against teams with winning records, 4-10 in Pac 10/12 games, and 3-8 overall. The Golden Bears are 6-1 ATS after failing to cover, 8-2 at home, and as a home favorite, 4-1 at home against teams with losing road records, 16-5 as a home favorite of 7-12.5 points, 11-4 as a favorite, 9-4 after a straight up loss, and 3-7 in Sunday games.

There is no real dominant team in the Pac 12. I think these teams are pretty evenly matched and 8.5 seems like a lot of points. I like Stanford to cover, and perhaps even pull off the upset.

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